Jesse Ventura visits Albert Lea to promote his new cannabis business

Published 2:54 pm Sunday, June 30, 2024

By Ayanna Eckblad

There was a crowd of people Saturday at Big Dream Organics as former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura paid a visit to promote his new business, Jesse Ventura Farms. 

Ventura rose to fame as a professional wrestler and later went into Minnesota politics. He was elected as mayor of Brooklyn Park and served as the 38th governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003. He has many other life experiences as well, including being in the Navy during the Vietnam War.

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His newest venture is Jesse Ventura Farms, a cannabis product business in partnership with Retro Bakery, a cannabis company based in Columbia Heights. 

Big Dream Organics had a table set out for Ventura as he gave a speech about his new business and took questions. He explained one of the main reasons he got into the business came after his wife was diagnosed with epilepsy, suffering from seizures two to three times a week. She tried four different seizure medications prescribed by her doctor, but none were effective and they had undesirable side effects. Ventura and his wife decided to travel to Colorado to purchase CBD drops in an attempt to find something that would treat her epilepsy. Since using the product, Ventura said, his wife has been seizure-free.  

Ventura fought for the lift of marijuana prohibition for years, including during his time as a governor. He said there was not enough of a following for marijuana legalization at that time, but he “lit an idea” that later became a fire and led to laws being passed.

“In my wife’s case,” Ventura said, “ it wasn’t just something she wanted; it was something she needed.” 

Now that recreational cannabis is legal in the state of Minnesota, Ventura is starting Jesse Ventura Farms with his son, Tyrel Ventura. 

“What father wouldn’t want to go into business with his son?” he asked the crowd. 

Right now Ventura’s business is focusing on CBD gummies, but he also mentioned he is working with Retro Bakery to create a CBD-based protein drink people can take before, during and after a workout. 

When asked about how his past career experience has prepared him for the cannabis industry, Ventura answered, “I’m a big enough name to be able to put my name on something.” He compared his experience being the face for a Miller Lite beer in the 1980s. He said he found it irrational that he was able to put his face on alcohol without controversy but is unable to do the same thing now with cannabis products.

In addition to speaking about cannabis, Ventura also engaged in a variety of other topics including his friendship with Willie Nelson and the recent presidential debate. Ventura said he is still a big supporter of third-party politics.  

Following the panel, Ventura took time to meet with fans and sign things such as wrestling memorabilia and items from his campaign as governor, as well as take photos.